The life of Madame Claude, the brilliant and complicated and utterly amoral woman behind the most glamorous and successful escort service in the world.
In post-WWII Paris, Madame Claude ran the most exclusive finishing school in the world. Her alumnae married more fortunes, titles and famous names than any of the Seven Sisters. The names on her client list were epicKennedy, Rothschild, Agnelli, Onassis, Niarchos, Brando, Sinatra, McQueen, Picasso, Chagall, Qaddafi, the Shah, and that's just for starters. By the 1950s, she was the richest and most celebrated self-made woman in Europe, as much of a legend as Coco Chanel.
Born Fernande Grudet, a poor Jewish girl in the aristocratic chateau city of Angers, the future Madame led a life of high adventureresistance fighter, concentration camp survivor, gun moll of the Corsican Mafia and erstwhile streetwalkerbefore becoming the ultimate broker between beauty and power. She harnessed the emerging postwar technology of the telephone to create the concept of the call girl. But Madame Claude wasn't just selling sexshe was the world's ultimate matchmaker, the Dolly Levi of the Power Elite.
She was also one of the most controversialand most wantedwomen in the world. Now, through his own conversations with the woman herself and interviews with the great men and remarkable women on whom she built her empire, social historian and biographer William Stadiem pierces the veil of Claude’s secret, forbidden universe of pleasure and privilege.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
William Stadiem is the author of such bestsellers as Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe Confidential, and Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond. He writes for Vanity Fair and has been the Hollywood columnist for Andy Warhol’s Interview and the restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine. Stadiem is also a screenwriter whose credits include Elizabeth Taylor’s last starring vehicle, Franco Zeffirelli’s Young Toscanini, and the television series L.A. Law.
Table of Contents
1 Introductory French 7
2 The Making of a Madam 30
3 Young Guns 61
4 The Sexual Olympics 91
3 Headmistress 113
6 Crime without Punishment 145
7 An American in Paris 163
8 The Turn of the Screw 195
9 Exile on Rodeo Drive 218
10 The Prisoner of Sex 248